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Wealth of talent in Small Business Advisory Group

Media Statement

Wealth of talent and experience in Small Business Advisory Group

The nine people appointed to the new Small Business Advisory Group provide a wealth of talent and experience, Minister for Small Business John Tamihere says.

Announcing the appointment of the group today, Mr Tamihere said its members came from a diverse range of sectors and regions, but the most important factor they had in common was hands-on experience in small business.

"Direct experience on the ground, and strong networks within the small business sector, were the most important things we were looking for," Mr Tamihere said.

"Furthermore, we have ensured these appointments have nothing to do with political cronyism. We want to hear the advice of people in real small businesses, which can be very different from what big business, bureaucrats or academics are telling us. We want straight talkers."

Over 240 applications for the positions were received, and the following nine members have been appointed:

- Peter Kitchen, Kaitaia, tourism sector, SME owner, Maori

- Nigel McKinlay, Dunedin, footwear manufacturer, business owner

- Alison Quesnel, Auckland, CEO health products firm, marketing, business mentor

- Lachlan McKenzie, Rotorua, farmer, SME owner

- Denise L'Estrange-Corbet, Auckland, fashion design and retail, SME owner

- Murray Cleverley, Timaru, CEO Economic Development Agency, meat processing, small business owner

- Cameron Moore, Christchurch, businessman, immediate past president, Canterbury Manufacturers' Association

- Stuart Wilson, Wellington, IT company owner

- Robyn Reid, Nelson, aviation company owner
Group members will be appointed for terms of 18 months to two years, starting from October 15, 2003.

Mr Tamihere said the Small Business Advisory Group would provide a business sector view on the development of policy relating to small-medium enterprises (SMEs) and provide a deeper understanding of how the government can work most effectively with SMEs.

The Small Business Advisory group will:

- Advise the Ministerial Group on Small Business on any issues affecting SMEs,

- Identify issues impacting on growth and development of SMEs and explore solutions

- Assist and advise government departments on consultation with SMEs

- Provide, for discussion with government agencies, suggestions on ways to enhance SME and government agency performance.

The full terms of reference for the advisory group can be read at the Ministry of Economic Development website: http://www.med.govt.nz/irdev/ind_dev/sbag/tor.html

Mr Tamihere said that, while the advisory group was chosen to provide a breadth of experience within the SME sector, he would continue to consult widely with a variety of individual SMEs to inform policy development.

Communication between SMEs and the government will be further strengthened with the SME Summit to be held in Wellington in February 2004, followed by a series of regional forums.


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